I was not raised to always walk away from a fight. I was raised to first walk away from a fight.
Ian Desmond was hit by a pitch in the top of the with a base open in the top of the 5th leading 5-2. This followed a 2-out double by Danny Espinosa that followed a 2-out homer from Wilson Ramos that followed a 2-out walk to Bryce Harper.
That’s what “the perfect time to hit a guy” looks like.
Anthony Rendon was hit by a pitch after Denard Span stole Second with no outs in the 6th with the Nats now up 6-2. It would be the bum Jimmy Nelson’s last batter of the night.
The situation makes this somewhat debatable but considering Nelson was getting his head kicked in, and already had the taste for blood, this seems like a tantrum beaning.
The bum Jimmy Nelson hit Desmond because his awfulness had become upsetting and he would rather pitch to Taylor. (Taylor, of course, made him pay.) He hit Rendon because he could. He was mad, he was getting yanked, and nothing happened when he hit Desmond.
Joe Ross is a rookie making only his second start above AA on a night the bullpen needed a break. He gets a pass for leaving his hitters out to dry. But then some random bullpen fodder takes a cheap shot at the best player in baseball? Casey Janssen is not an expletive deleted rookie.
They hit Harper because they didn’t want to see him again. They hit him because they got away with hitting Desmond and Rendon. They hit him because it worked for the Reds. And the Braves. And the Cards. And the Phillies. The Nats are not a team that answers cheap shots and it’s not a secret. Walking away ain’t working. Jayson Werth is already on the DL from a HBP. Even with Harper’s monster year, this team is barely over .500 and not in 1st Place. They can’t lose him too. But they might. Because taking cheap shots at Bryce Harper has always been ok. Max Scherzer can’t pitch every inning. He’s the only guy who’s wanted to step up and now the team might lose him too if he does what Ross and Janssen, and Treinen and Thornton, and Gonzalez and Strasburg, should have done.
I was raised that if you can’t walk away from a fight, then you’d better win it.
I was raised to play baseball the same way.